Letters May 23: Protected by the sea; access to masks; reopen the libraries

The sea and the Island’s low death count

I would add my thanks to those of others complimenting Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on the measures they have taken to manage the COVID-19 threat to our lives.

The number of deaths on Vancouver Island is minuscule in comparison with other sites, and I believe that it is also because we are Islanders that we are so fortunate.

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It is like living in a fortress surrounded by a gigantic moat of seawater which little can cross during the shutdown.

An observant reader from Parksville pointed out the “other side” of the shutdown, noting a number of unpleasant activities that appear to have increased on Vancouver Island in tandem with the shutdown.

His observation appears be substantiated in the Times Colonist by the stories this year detailing the numbers of deaths occurring due to fires, vehicle accidents linked to speeding or impaired driving, assaults, shooting, drowning and more.

This is not cause and effect, but it does have a lot to say about risk.

It means that, as a resident of this Island, I am more likely to be killed by causes other than coronavirus.

William Davis
Victoria

Masks need to be available and inexpensive

Over the past few months of living with the threat of COVID-19, we have all learned a great deal about its prevention and containment. Social distancing, hand-washing and keeping our hands away from our faces have all become just another part of our daily lives.

However, when it came to the issue of wearing masks, the message has clearly evolved, particularly as we have moved towards Phase 2 of our pandemic control plan.

Two of the major obstacles to wearing an appropriate mask for a given situation that our politicians appear to be ducking are their cost and availability. Simply suggesting people make their own falls far short of what one would expect from any level of responsible government.

If wearing a mask truly results in a significant drop in the spread of COVID-19, why wouldn’t a variety of masks be made available free of charge to anyone living in this country who desires to wear one.

Surely a First World country such as Canada can find both the financial resources and the manufacturers and distributors to accomplish such an important task in a timely manner.

Bruce Cline
Victoria

B.C. government deserves our thanks

I would like to express, in these most challenging times, my most sincere gratitude and appreciation to the B.C. government.

They stepped up and decisively made not always popular decisions to keep British Columbians safe, and it is working. Bravo, we chose well.

Geraldine Glattstein
Victoria

How soon will our libraries reopen?

The latest reports show that the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus from surfaces is vanishingly small. The virus particles on surfaces in many instances are not viable and washing hands will likely inactivate any small virus load that is transmitted.

Studies have shown that even this small amount of virus cannot remain viable on paper or cardboard beyond 24 hours. I hope that we can now reopen the Greater Victoria Public Library for ordering, pick-up and drop-off of books and magazines.

For many, the library is an essential service, providing education and entertainment free of charge that is invaluable in this difficult time of social isolation.

I think the dedicated and efficient staff that work at the libraries have every right to expect full protective measures for their safety, and the initial shutdown to physical book loans was reasonable.

However, now that retail shops, the service industry and even gyms are finding ways to work within the health-officer guidelines, surely the libraries can find a way.

Perhaps have book drop-off boxes sealed for 24 hours before being opened and sorted (book drops on Monday and Thursday only, for instance) and allow folks to request books for pick-up online with library staff taking the same protective measures that book stores do now when clients pick up books.

Many do not have access to e-books!

Jason Wale
Saanich

Age of fighter jets is not the only measurement

Re: “Retire or replace Snowbirds planes,” letter, May 22.

Aircraft that are designed for a particular role, and have proven to do that service safely, with a proven safety record for many years, shouldn’t be replaced with an unproven unknown unless there is good reason to do so.

Whatever caused the crash of the Tutor in Kamloops will be investigated, determined and rectified so it will never happen again, making it even more reliable than it has proven to have been over the past 50 years.

A good example of needless replacement is that of the military Sea King helicopter to the Cyclone — such as the one that recently crashed, killing all six crew members on board.

Another example is the Boeing 737 Max 8 that took the lives of hundreds of people in two fatal crashes.

John Walker
Cobble Hill

Single seniors need government help, too

Re: “More help for non-profit groups serving most vulnerable,” May 20.

Where is the help for those Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in his daily newscast recently as the most vulnerable people in Canada, the single seniors?

There are no groups serving the most vulnerable, some of whom are without a permanent residential address mostly due to continually escalating rents, which require immediate capping.

Susan Doherty
Victoria

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